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Lancaster, Lancashire - Canal Walk - Lancaster Canal - Lancaster to Glasson and back to Lancaster

Lancaster, Lancashire - Canal Walk - Lancaster Canal - Lancaster to Glasson and back to Lancaster
This walk was designed and supplied by www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk This is a circular taking you along the Lune estuary to Glasson where the canal is linked to the sea. Then back to Lancaster via the Glasson arm and the main canal

There are a number of car parks in Lancaster. Ideally park in Thurnham Street car park (close to the Police Station) or Nelson Street (close to the Town Hall and Cathedral), as these are adjacent to the canal. When you reach the canal turn right and this will take you South.

For a while canal runs next to the Aldcliffe Road. Where the road and canal separate follow the road into Aldcliffe. In Aldcliffe turn right down Aldcliffe Hall Road and continue along the lane. This will lead you to the Lancashire coast path which is based on a former rail line. Turn left and follow the track but please be aware that this is also a cycle track.

The path affords great views over the estuary to the Cumbrian hills beyond. At Conder Green (3 miles) the path crosses the River Condor. Here you will find toilets and café (open from 10am). To reach the Stork pub follow the road to your left before the path crosses the River.

If you wish you can take a short cut which misses Glasson and reduces the walk by circa 2 miles by continuing past the Stork to the main road and turning right. Follow the main road until you reach the canal and take the towpath to the left.

To continue to Glasson follow the track to the right over the river. This shortly brings you to Glasson. The Glasson arm and dock were constructed to give the Lancaster canal direct link to the sea. The arm is 2.5 miles long with 6 broad locks to allow the sea going vessels. It was constructed in 1826 and worked successfully until superseded by Preston as a port.

At Glasson (4 miles) the canal terminates in a basin used by both narrow boats and yachts which links to the docks via a lock. On the other side of the lock you will find a café, newsagent and The Dalton Arms. Boats passing through the lock require the road swing bridge to be opened but you are still able to cross using the lower lock gates. The toilets at Glasson are between the coastal path and main road.

To continue your route walk along the coastal side of the marina and pick up the canal towpath. You are now on the Glasson arm and after Bridge 6 (5 miles) you will reach The Mill pub next to the first lock. This pub was, not surprisingly, originally a mill. The canal company purchased it in order to gain access to water from the River Conder and water from the canal then powered the mill before being returned to the canal.

The canal continues its route towards the main canal and Bowland Hills beyond rising through five further locks. Its junction with the main canal has a fine turnover Bridge. - Bridge No 1 (7 miles). Here you should pass under the bridge and turn left.

Shortly you will reach Galgate. Bridge 86 (7.5 miles) gives access to a café and pub. Leave the towpath before the bridge and cross the bridge. The café to your left has a garden overlooking the canal. Please note the café is closed on Mondays. If you turn left when you reach the main road you come to the Plough Inn. Beyond The Plough under the railway bridge you will also find a Spar store.

After Galgate the canal travels north back to Lancaster. The first mile of this journey is open countryside before the canal enters Burrows Heights Cutting. The cutting was dug through ancient glacial deposits to maintain the canal level and avoid a long diversion. The cutting has the feel of a wooded valley and consequently can be muddy during wet conditions. As you exit the cutting you return to the start of your route. Look out for views of the castle to your left. Follow the canal and retrace your steps to the car park.

Food and drink

Conder Green – 3 miles.

Café de Lune. Tel: 01524 752048

The Stork. Tel: 01524 751234

Glasson – 4 miles

Dalton Arms. Tel: 01524 751213 www.daltonarms.co.uk

After Bridge 6 – 5 miles. The Mill Tel: 01524 752852.
www.millinn-condergreen.co.uk


Galgate – 7.5 miles

The Plough Inn. Tel: 01524 751337. www.the-plough.co.uk

Shops

Glasson – 4 miles. Village Store

Galgate – 7.5 miles. Spar

Toilets

Conder Green – 3 miles
Glasson – 4 miles
In the above pubs/cafes


Additional Information

By the mid 18th century Lancaster was a prosperous port but the estuary of River Lune could not accommodate the larger ships being built and Liverpool grew in importance. Consequently a way of linking Liverpool to Lancaster was required and a canal from Kendal south via Lancaster and Preston was proposed.

Construction started in 1792 and by 1800 the section from Preston to Tewitfield north of Carnforth was complete as was a section to Wigan south of the Ribble. In 1803 a temporary trestle bridge tramway linked the southern section to Preston and in 1819 the canal was extended to Kendal. In 1825 a short branch to Glasson near Lancaster was built giving the canal direct access to the sea but the link to the main network was not completed until in the modern era of canal re-development in 2002.

Despite this ‘missing link’ the canal flourished carrying both freight and passengers. The canal was lock free with the exception of 8 locks at Tewitfield and this meant that Packet Boats could travel from Preston to Kendal in 7 hours. The boats were pulled by two horses changed every 4 miles and passengers transferred boats at Tewitfield to avoid the delays of the locks. The advent of the railways saw the canal slowly decline with the Northern section closing in 1944 and the last commercial boat travelling between Preston and Lancaster in 1962.

Today the section from Preston to the locks at Tewitfield has been restored. Beyond Tewitfield the canal is in water but road development has seen it severed in several places. The final 5 miles to Kendal are no longer in water but the route can still be followed.

This walk was designed and supplied by www.MeanderHolidays.co.uk